The Feast concerning St. Nicholaos in Beit Jalla
On Thursday, December 19, 2019, the Patriarchate celebrated the commemoration of our Father among the Saints Nicholaos, Bishop of Myra in Lycia the wonder worker at his magnificent Church of the Rum Orthodox Arab-speaking Community of Beit Jalla, near Bethlehem.
St. Nicholaos is the Father of the Church of the 4th century, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, protector of the poor, those who suffer injustice, the prisoners and needy, “a rule of faith and an icon of meekness, a teacher of temperance”, protector of the sailormen, vary popular to the Orthodox people, defender also of the Orthodox doctrine of the One Essence of the Son to the Father in the 1st Ecumenical Synod of Nice in 325 A.D.
This great Hierarch was honoured by the Rum Orthodox Arab-speaking Community of Beit Jalla and all the town as it Patron Saint, with the Divine Liturgy which was officiated by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, with co-celebrants Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, the Archbishop Methodios of Tabor and Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, the Hegoumen Archimandrite Ignatios, Archimandrite Alexios, the Ministering Priests of the Church, Steward Fr. George Awad, Fr. Paul, Fr. Yusef and Fr. Elias and Hierodeacon Eulogios. The Liturgy was attended by the full congregation of the Orthodox faithful of the town, the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Christos Sophianopoulos, the representatives of the Palestinian Autonomy, the President of the Ecclesiastical issues Committee Ramzi Houri and the Mayor Nichola Hamis.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a meal at lunchtime, offered by the Hegoumen Archimandrite Ignatios and the Community Council at the Orient Palace Hotel.
The Feast of St. Nicholaos at St. Savvas’ Lavra
St. Nicholaos was honoured also at his Church in the Lavra of St. Savvas, the first Church built in the Lavra, with the Divine Liturgy in an All-night Vigil, which was led by the Archbishop in turn, Philoumenos of Pella, with the participation of St. Savvas’ and the Hagiotaphite Fathers and pilgrims.
The Feast of St. Nicholaos in Jerusalem
The Feast of St. Nicholaos was also celebrated in his Holy Monastery in the Old City of Jerusalem. Vespers in the afternoon and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast were led by the Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod Archbishop Demetrios of Lydda, with co-celebrants the Archimandrites Mattheos and Demetrios, Archdeacon Mark and Deacon Sophronios, with the participation in prayer of a congregation from Jerusalem and Monks and Nuns of the Patriarchate.
After the Divine Liturgy the Caretaker of the Holy Monastery Archdeacon Mark offered a rich reception to the Episcopal Entourage and all present at the Hegoumeneion and the courtyard of the Monastery.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem